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VILSECK, Germany — Newly arrived 2nd Cavalry (Stryker) Regiment soldiers will soon have a sports bar/restaurant/cyber cafe in the heart of their living and working area.

Thomas Bryant, Grafenwöhr Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s chief of business operations, said the sports bar, due to open by October, will fill an auditorium inside the Langenbruk Center — a large building near 2nd Cav’s new headquarters.

The facility will include six flat-screen televisions as well as a bar with four flat-screen televisions mounted above it. The bar will have a basketball shooting area, pool tables, air hockey and a casino and smoking lounge, he said.

Next door, an older cyber cafe will be upgraded to a digital lounge with the latest electronic gear including online gaming, wireless capability, iPod dispensing machines and a digital camera printer as well as Internet access, he said.

A Java Cafe selling Starbucks coffee will be built in the center, which will also house a travel agent. Tumbleweed restaurant, which already occupies part of the building, will deliver food anywhere in the center, Bryant said.

“This project has been ongoing since 2002. It was supposed to be done before the 2nd Cav arrived, but with budget constraints we ended up falling behind. We have had setbacks for different reasons, but now we are at the point where we are ready to execute,” he said.

The 2nd Cav executive officer, Maj. Bryan Denny, 39, of Oxford, N.C., who arrived in Vilseck last month, said he’s excited about the sports bar, something that was lacking at 2nd Cav’s old home of Fort Lewis, Wash.

The bar will encourage soldiers to stay on post and will discourage drinking and driving, he said.

“There is always going to be an appeal to go off post but I think, having quality entertainment on post, guys will say, ‘Let’s not drive off post. Let’s stay here tonight,’” he said.

The big attraction for Denny will be watching the Carolina Panthers football team play, even though there will probably be delayed coverage of the games, he said.

“I’ll still watch them even if I know the score,” he said.

Langenbruck Center supervisor Worth Putnam, a former sports director who started work at Vilseck in 1984, said 30 to 50 soldiers a day use the center’s existing recreational facilities, which include an older Internet cafe, bar and casino.

Putnam said the changes are what people want. Since the center is in the middle of the 2nd Cav living and work area, it will be handy for soldiers, he added.

“They can walk here from their barracks. They don’t have to be going downtown and getting in trouble,” he said.

Langenbruck Center staff member Colene Lowery said she is looking forward to meeting the newly arrived soldiers.

“I like that everybody is coming here. The place is getting busy and there are a lot of new faces,” she said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.
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